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85,000 Yemenis displaced in 10 weeks as Saudi continues bombardments

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More than 22 million people are in need and over 85,000 displaced over the last 10 as a result of intensified bombardments by the Saudi-led coalition, as well as a collapsing economy and diminished social services.

The report by the UN agencies notes that Yemen’s west coast continues to be the highest source of new displacement, with 71 per cent originating from Al Hudaydah and Taizz governorates. Most people remain hosted by relatives or friends, trapped inside homes or in caves as ground clashes, aerial bombardment and sniper fire rage around them. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is particularly concerned for those that remain in areas close to hostilities in Taizz and Hudaydah.

“As a result of prolonged fighting in those two governorates, conditions continue to rapidly deteriorate, exposing people to violence and disease, without basic services,” UNHCR spokesperson Cécile Pouilly told journalists in Geneva.

For 2018, UNHCR is appealing for nearly $200 million to respond to critical and prioritized humanitarian needs. However, the agency has started the year with just three per cent of funding available. According the UN, the conflict has displaced over 2 million Yemenis within their own country.

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

Nearly 14,000 Yemenis, mostly women, children and the elderly, have been killed since the onset of Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against the impoverished state. Much of the Arabian Peninsula country’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been reduced to rubble due to the war. The Saudi-led war has also triggered a deadly cholera epidemic and famine across Yemen.

UN chief Antonio Guterres has called the war a “stupid one,” calling on the United States, which is a strong Saudi ally and has been backing the invasion through arms sales and logistical support, to pressure Riyadh into ending the attacks.

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